Dutch favour medicinal poppy cultivation

4th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 September 2007 , THE HAGUE (ANP) – The Dutch government should support a trial project aimed at using the poppy cultivation in the Afghan province of Uruzgan for the production of morphine.

4 September 2007

THE HAGUE (ANP) – The Dutch government should support a trial project aimed at using the poppy cultivation in the Afghan province of Uruzgan for the production of morphine.

The international think-tank Senlis Council called for this, referring to the outcome of a survey conducted by marketing researcher TNO NIPO on this subject.

The survey showed that most Dutch citizens by far (92 percent) are positive about  changing the illegal cultivation of poppies in Afghanistan into legal cultivation for medical purposes. 

Six out of ten respondents entirely agree with such a programme. Nine in ten think that a trial project is necessary to establish whether it is successful and 79 percent believe that the government should support the programme.

The Senlis Council is an international think-tank active in the area of security and development policy. For some time the Council has been urging the use of the poppies from Afghanistan for the production of morphine. There is a worldwide shortage of this kind of painkiller. The Afghan poppies are now used for the production of heroin.

The Senlis Council feels that the drug policy led by the US and aimed at eradicating the poppy cultivation has failed. The production has only increased during the past few years.

At the same time poverty among the farmers has risen. An a result they are driven into the arms of the Taliban. In Uruzgan alone 100,000 people depend on the proceeds of the poppy cultivation.

Cultivation for medical purposes could help sever the ties between farmers and the Taliban Eventually this could result in farmers growing alternative crops, according to the Senlis Council.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news


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